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| 16 July, 2016

Virtual tokens to help save time in Dubai

Man poses with smartphone.

Man poses with smartphone.

Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Saturday, Jul 16, 2016

Dubai: Going to a government office and taking a token to wait for your turn may soon be a thing of the past in Dubai.

Dubai Municipality has launched a new app that issues virtual tokens to customers wanting to avail of the services of its various departments.

The Green Ticket allows users to avail of information about the services provided in different centres of the municipality, choose the closest centre, and get a digital ticket to seek the service, Mohammad Abdullah Al Zafein, director of the IT Department at the municipality, told Gulf News.

The app, named ‘Green Ticket’, allows customers to instantly get in line wherever they are at their convenience during the office hours of Dubai Municipality.

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“The Green Ticket enables you to identify Dubai Municipality services provided at its centres and book a ticket for a particular time during the day for a specific service from the services offered in a particular centre. Also, it allows you to follow up tickets that have been issued.”

“The app will tell you where to go to apply as it shows the maps of centres and tells you which centre is nearby. It helps you choose a centre with less rush as it shows you how many people are in the queue waiting before you. This will make people’s lives easier as they can plan their visit accordingly,” said Al Zafein.

Heba Bilal Al Shehi, the head of Application Development Unit, said the main goal of the app is to save time for customers by providing smart and environment-friendly solutions.

“Sometimes they waste time going to a centre and realise that a particular service is not offered there and then they have to go to another centre. Customers can avoid this situation since the app has the list of services offered in all the centres.”

The app also offers an option to book a ticket for a later time. “For example, if there are many people waiting at 9am, you can take an appointment for 11am if that slot is available,” said Al Shehi.

Customers can book multiple tickets and see the details of their tickets on a personalised dashboard called “My Tickets”.

There is also an option for live chat with the contact centres to clarify doubts.

The app currently provides green tokens for services offered in four centres in Al Twar, Al Manara, Al Karama and Hatta.

Individuals and companies seeking civic services at these centres can make use of the new online facility.

Officials said there are plans to extend the green ticket service to other departments offering their services in these municipality centres. Various federal and local departments such as Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Roads and Transport Authority, Ministry of Labour, Community Development Authority, etc, provide their services in different municipality centres.

The app is now available for Apple and Android users. Al Shehi said the municipality will soon make it compatible with smart watches, which will have additional features of reminders about appointments and navigation facility.

What the Green Ticket App does for you

· Displays location, directions and the services offered in each centre on an interactive map.

· Allows you to know the right time to go to the centre and avoid long waiting times.

· Determines your number in the queue.

· Books a ticket in advance or upon arrival at the centre by the application.

· Chooses services based on nearby centre and number of waiting customers.

· Identifies important services and adds it to your favourites.

· Displays issued ticket data.

· Allows instant conversation (chat) with the contact centre staff.

By Sajila Saseendran Senior Reporter

Gulf News 2016. All rights reserved.